Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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About The "Venetian Recordophone" guitars were sold by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. These photos are from the 1931 catalog and n...

The Venetian Recordophone Guitar

About

The "Venetian Recordophone" guitars were sold by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. These photos are from the 1931 catalog and no existing catalogs have surfaced from 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, or beyond. They do not appear in the 1927 catalog so we can count that year out. The Venetian Recordophone guitars were described as being the "latest improvement in guitar construction" and "an invention of an expert of over thirty-five years experience in guitar building". Metallic silk grilles were fastened in the sound holes and the large, carved bridge was touted as "will positively not pull off due to the extraordinary large glueing space". 

Stylistically, they look like Regal products and the description of "gold tinsel" fingerboards on the no.2062 matches my 1930s Regal "Diamond Head" guitar's fingerboard. I'm not aware of any manufacturer other than Regal who used bronze powder mixed in celluloid for fingerboards. This connection is just speculation as I have not personally inspected one of these guitars to say for sure.

No. 2060

The No. 2060 was the top model. The top was Eastern mountain spruce (adirondack) with black and white pryalin binding on the top and around the soundhole. The back and sides were "very fine" northern birch finished in a dark mahogany stain with "the center of back has an overlaid design in fancy colors". The top was finished in a "shaded amber brown and orange" sunburst. The neck was constructed of mahogany with "marine pearl" on the faceplate and fingerboard. The bridge was hardwood, covered in "marine pearl", engraved, and featured a bone saddle and black bridge pins. The tuners were nickel plated with black buttons and the frets were nickel silver. The finish is described as a "Zanzibar finish, hand rubbed to a dull gloss". The instrument cost 30 dollars at the time

The phrase "marine pearl" is used to describe the veneer on the fingerboard, bridge, headplate, and pickguard which might lead one to believe they are using genuine mother of pearl. But another description of the guitar mentions "white pearlette" which, given the context of a 1930s depression-era guitar, makes far more sense. Pearlette is referring to imitation mother of pearl made from celluloid and mica. It is also often called pearloid. 


No. 2061 & 2062

These were identical to the 2060 except the "marine pearl" was replaced with silver tinsel on the 2061 and gold tinsel on the 2062. It also cost $30.



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